the original skin

Writing Us into Existence


He took off his shoes and the right pinkie was exposed — nude, malformed, and smelling like Limburger from six feet away. A couple of wiry hairs arcing over the sock. She, on the other hand, was at the bookshelf pulling out a book about genital piercings, entitled American Primitives, out of a shelf filled with the best selling titles about effective extortion techniques, labiaplasty, and breast augmentation plastic surgery mishaps. At the rear of the study lay their son on a lazy boy recliner snoring like an opossum with a severed tail—the disembodied tail still involuntarily twitching under the light of the bold wolf super moon on U.S. 1—the Saab’s driver long gone and oblivious.

The son lays there, mouth agape, drool pooling in the cleft of his chin. The whites of his eyes revealed beneath the slits of his fluttering eyes.

The dark circles around his eyes, not yet diminished, accentuating the ‘possum affect. His half erect penis beginning to show because he drank a liter of water two hours ago and forgot to drape a sofa cushion on his groin.


Your skin looks like shagbark. You look like a shameless twat hung by the toes. Who hangs by their toes?

“Did someone hang you there, or did you do that yourself?” His son doesn’t hear the question.

“I don’t remember this movie,” she says dropping the book And I say this isn’t a movie, dear. Someone is writing us into existence and I’m kinda bored by it. Hey, you’re kinda cute. Well this kinda cute ain’t around. And something about happy loving couples not being friends of mine… oh, he must be listening to Joe Jackson. You follow it? Nah, I really don’t care; I just don’t want to be a character here anymore. I’d rather go back into that inchoate place ‘o blackness and stasis. I’d like snail tacos and drag races. Oh, what are you watching some feature length cartoon, from a secondary angle, full of rice and stew and red wine? Yes. Oh well it’ll stop soon enough after 100 words. Look at the length of this. He’ll check to see if it’s north of 100 words and stop. You’ll see. Pari passu delivering Centurias he arrived.


English is my second language, but my Spanish, although mostly atrophied, remains stubbornly attached like the original skin that hangs on to the anole’s back after molting. Everything seems processed in Spanish first before the protean firing into English. My neurons work overtime, and therefore all the wiring in my head never ceases working. The machinery overtaxed and always at the edge of a breakdown.


The fug in this house sticks to you. The persimmons on the table spin when you look at them, and when I look at them they levitate and circle into a gyre that moves from room to room looking for the energy that’ll stop them from moving. From movement to stasis is the natural order, and it seeks the natural order. You look at them again and the fruits drive themselves into the living room wall, creating a starburst pattern unseen in this millennium.

“To walk in the world is to find oneself in a body without papers, not a citizen of anything but breath.”

— Kazim Ali / Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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